Sue Blaustein: “On Hubbard Street”



On Hubbard Street



My new friend
is the northern end
of Hubbard Street.
Hubbard is a homely

name! Old Mother
Hubbard’s bare cupboard;
fall wagons heaped
with warty squash.

Hubbard Street comes
near my house too. But
the northern end – the terminus –
feels like a distant

village. By going there
this spring I learned
that I need a distant
village. It has outskirts.

Where a copter-beanie
wind turbine
in a warehouse parking
lot goes whup whup

whup whup whup.



East Side Stor-Mor
is on the outskirts. Not
Store not More.
We shaved e’s off

naming places
in the 20th century.
Not anymore – too
corny. I’m scuffing

a heated mix of brown
pine needles and litter.
A cups-and-bags-and-wrappers mix
that clogs catch-basins

and recurs;
piling ahead of your same feet
in all the summers of your life,
to appear again

across lifetimes, suffusing
you with feelings
about eternity. Everything
simultaneous… could be…



The curbstones are soft-edged
along the street
between Stor-Mor and what
I call my village proper.

Where there are
seven houses – residences!
Modest, and I don’t know
who lives there. I’ve

dwelt in houses and flats
I might’ve passed;
circumstances and years
before I lived there.

Hubbard Street –
I feel something in your ether.
You seem to know where I’ve been.
I sense you know

where I might be, when one
day another now
turns to then. It’s 2:00 PM
and the turbine blades whirl,

casting shadows
on the units of Stor-Mor –
garage doors 29, 30 and 31 –
whup whup…whup whup whup




About the Author: Sue Blaustein is the author of “In the Field, Autobiography of an Inspector”. Her publication credits and bio can be found at Sue retired from the Milwaukee Health Department in 2016, and is an active volunteer. She blogs for ExFabula (“Connecting Milwaukee Through Real Stories”), serves as an interviewer/writer for the “My Life My Story” program at the Zablocki VA Medical Center, and chases insects at the Milwaukee Urban Ecology Center.


More by Sue Blaustein:

A Song for Harvest Spiders

A Song for Noise

The Old Ways


Image Credit: John Margolies “Thrift Store, Baseline [i.e. Base Line] Street, San Bernardino, California” (1991) The Library of Congress

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